What Happened to the Two Camps?
by Christopher A. Ferrara
July 13, 2015
Today we are at the height of the crisis of which Pius XII warned in 1951:
Venerable Brethren, you are well aware that almost the whole human race is today allowing itself to be driven into two opposing camps, for Christ or against Christ. The human race is involved today in a supreme crisis, which will issue in its salvation by Christ, or in its dire destruction.
Notice the elements of the Pope’s warning: First, that the whole human race is being divided into two camps. Second, that in one camp are the followers of Christ and in the other His enemies. Third, the resulting crisis will end either in the salvation of humanity by Christ or in humanity’s dire destruction. Notice also that this warning came only eleven years before the commencement of the Second Vatican Council.
What has happened to this papal realism about the state of the world since the Council’s close? It has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared to be replaced by an “opening” to the modern world and a truly fatuous optimism about humanity’s moral and spiritual prospects. So that now the only crisis viewed by the Pope as having the potential to bring about the destruction of the world is an “ecological crisis” arising from overuse of fossil fuels and certain elements of social injustice.
In Laudato si Francis exhibits the new mentality according to which the world is not divided into two camps, for or against Christ, but rather all of humanity is engaged in a common project of “renewal” that does not depend upon belief in Christ or adherence to the Law of the Gospel as expounded by His Church.
Hence in Laudato Francis says merely that “the rich heritage of Christian spirituality, the fruit of twenty centuries of personal and communal experience, has a precious contribution to make to the renewal of humanity.” The suggestion is that the “renewal of humanity” is a vast worldly movement to which Christ and His Church — which Francis does not even mention in his reference to “Christian spirituality” — are merely contributors. That is the opposite of the truth. It is, rather, the world that must contribute to the Church in her divinely assigned task of bringing about the renewal of humanity in the only way possible: in Christ and through Christ. That is why Pius XII warned that absent salvation in Christ, the fate of humanity in our time is “dire destruction.”
In Ubi Arcano Dei, Pius XII’s predecessor, Pius XI, enunciated forcefully this truth, which has been completely forgotten and totally abandoned since Vatican II:
Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the “true spirit of brotherly love”….
One of the most astonishing aspects of the current crisis in the Church, no doubt foretold in the integral Third Secret, is the sudden loss on the part of the Church’s leadership of any sense of her true mission in the world and the absolute centrality of transformation in Christ for the salvation of humanity. A loss that occurred in connection with, and immediately following, the Second Vatican Council.
And now Francis frets, not about the dire destruction of humanity on account of its apostasy, but rather about damage to the environment, social, economic and political equality, and even the excessive use of air-conditioning. The Church has been reduced to a contributor to the utopian schemes of a New World Order controlled by the very enemies of Christ whose growing camp so alarmed Pius XII as early as 1951, when the horrors we witness today could not have been imagined by Pius in his worst nightmare.
God help us. Our Lady of Fatima intercede for us!